Species name: Sawfish
Scientific name: Pristis pristis
Description: This large species takes its name from its long, narrow snout, which is lined with sharp teeth – resemblilng a saw.
IUCN status: Critically Endangered.
Key threat: Fishing, habitat destruction, polluted waters.
Where they’re found today: Tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
Abu Dhabi’s efforts: In 2016, the Green Sawfish, which was on the brink of extinction, was found in UAE waters. EAD continues to monitor and protect this rare species. The fishing of Sawfish is also banned throughout the year in the UAE and the species is included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which ensures that international trade does not threaten their survival.
- In many countries, if a fisher accidentally catches a sawfish and fails to release it they can face large fines.
- Their saw is used as a self-defense mechanism to fight off predators, including larger sharks.
- Their saw is packed with thousands of tiny pore-like organs which can detect the electric fields surrounding living organisms.